Two pipe bombs were found at the offices of the Republican and Democratic national committees in Washington DC on January 6. They were discovered moments before rioters stormed the Capitol.
The FBI has revealed that the pipe bombs found near the US Capitol were placed there the night before the riots, as it increased the reward to find the culprit to $100,000.
Two pipe bombs were discovered at the offices of the Republican and Democratic national committees on January 6, just moments before rioters stormed the Capitol in a violent insurrection that left five – including a Capitol cop – dead.
The FBI said Friday its investigation had revealed the explosive devices were actually placed outside the two buildings between 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on January 5, the night before the riot.
New surveillance footage shows the suspect walking toward the area where the RNC is based just after 8:15 p.m. that night.
New footage obtained by the Washington Post shows the suspect walking westbound along Rumsey Court – the alley behind the RNC – toward the area behind the RNC at 8:13 p.m.
The individual is wearing the clothes and backpack matching that of the still released by the FBI.
Two minutes later at 8:15 p.m. separate footage captures the suspect carrying the backpack in their hand as they near the area where the bomb was later found.
The devices were not discovered by law enforcement until the following day.
It is not clear whether this means the pipe bombs were unrelated to the next day’s riot or if they were part of the riot planning but both buildings are within just a few blocks of the Capitol.
With the hunt for the bomber now in its third week and the suspect still at large, the FBI released new photos of the bombs and doubled the reward for information Friday.
A new wanted poster released Friday reveals the FBI is now offering $100,000 for information about the suspect.
The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives had already increased the reward once from $50,000 to $75,000 with the latest increase a sign that law enforcement is growing increasingly anxious about locating the bomber.
It is not clear if the devices were set to go off at a certain time.
A law enforcement source told CNN it is still unknown why the devices did not detonate.
It is possible the batteries were not connected properly or the timers were set incorrectly, they said.
Authorities are said to considering the theory that the bombs were planted to deliberately divert law enforcement away from the Capitol to give rioters a chance to storm the Capitol.
The bombs are currently being investigated at the FBI lab in Virginia.
Steven D’Antuono, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s office in Washington, said in a press conference Tuesday that locating the person who planted the pipe bombs was a top priority for federal agents.
More than 1,000 residents and business owners in the neighborhood where the bombs were found have been interviewed by authorities as they work to track down the suspect.
US Capitol Police and agents from the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were called to the Republican National Committee’s office around 12:45 p.m. on January 6.
Rioters stormed the US Capitol on January 6 in a riot that left five dead. The pipe bombs are being considered as possible diversion tactics to lead law enforcement away from the area
The bomb had been spotted by local resident Karlin Younger as she was walking to do her laundry.
She said the Wisconsin State Journal the timer was set to 20 minutes but said she did not hear any ticking.
Younger reported it to a nearby security guard, who contacted the police.
About 30 minutes later, as the agents and bomb technicians were still investigating at the RNC, another call came in for a second, similar explosive device found at the Democratic National Committee headquarters which is less than a quarter mile away.
Bomb squads were called in and the devices were safely detonated at the scene by robots.